Norwich D-Day veteran remembers fallen colleagues

The Norfolk Regiment veteran, Bill Holden. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Norfolk Regiment veteran, Bill Holden. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

A Norwich D-Day veteran has remembered his fallen colleagues on the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

Bill Holden, who lives at the Meadows housing with care in the city, has called on everyone he lives with at the scheme to join him in remembrance.

Mr Holden saw active duty in the second world war in the 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment and landed in Normandy as part of the D-Day landings on June 6, 1945.

He served for six years in Germany, Egypt and Jerusalem and has arranged many trips to Holland and Normandy for ex-service men to visit.

He has also compiled a book, which has been donated to the archive of the 1st Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment in the Castle Museum, which details every grave location and the number of every fallen servicemen of the Royal Norfolk Regiment.

He was awarded the MBE by the Queen 15 years ago.

Remembering the landings Mr Holden said: "The Bren Carrier's total weight landing on Sword beach was 11 tonnes. We proceeded inland to the village of Hermanville, then on to Colleville.

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"The Battalion's first objective was Bellvue Farm, code name Rover. We left Colleville and in open farm land proceeded to our target. On reaching midway the two leading companies came under heavy machine gun fire from a very large German bunker.

"The Battalion suffered approximately 50 killed and wounded and finally captured their target, which they nicknamed Norfolk House.

"My best friend was killed. He has no grave and I often think why him and not me, it's something I don't understand. It was really terrible but I wouldn't have missed it for anything."

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